MANILA – Amid the 94 percent market opening for Philippine products in India, President Benigno S. Aquino III said the country is seeking to explore the untapped trade potential between the two nations.
“There is huge potential, largely untapped, between India and the Philippines that we seek to tap at the soonest possible time for both our countries’ mutual benefits,” he said during the open forum of the Publish Asia 2016 Conference held at the Manila Hotel on Wednesday.
The President further explained that the middle class could benefit from cars produced in India.
“One of your major industrial conglomerates – Tata – is already present in the Philippines and exactly has timed its entry correctly in that there have been something like a 26 percent growth in yearly sales of cars, in particular. We have an increasing middle class that is in need of such products,” he said.
The Chief Executive noted that the Philippines has taken advantage of 74 percent of the 94 percent market opening in India, citing that the trade between the two countries had increased to US$ 1.59 billion in 2015 from US$ 1.06 billion in 2014.
“Having said that, I think we are very glad that India has already allowed a 94 percent market opening for Philippine products. The Philippines is trying to catch up, we are presently at the 74 percent level. We recognize how important a market engine is for the Philippines,” he said.
“We want to foster a very, shall we say, better relations with India… There’s a 50 percent growth in trade between the Philippines and India, which was at the US$ 1.06 billion level in 2011, it is now – in 2014 or 2015 – US$ 1.59 billion already.”
President Aquino also said the Philippines could learn from India in terms of managing telecommunication companies.
“Lessons that can be learned, for instance, in your (Indian) telcos and managing our own (Philippine) telcos. I can go on and on… But we have been trying to really deepen the relations between the Philippines and India in so many different aspects and I think we are already bearing fruit from this,” he said.